New boundaries for SANFL recruiting zones


SANFL has finalised changes to its clubs’ recruiting zones after conducting its first extensive boundaries review since 2017. 

Ratified by the SA Football Commission, the 2022 Boundaries Review was undertaken to ensure an equitable realignment of club zones will meet population and participation changes in metropolitan and country areas.

The review of SANFL boundaries is conducted every five years, coinciding with the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ census of population and housing data.

A Boundaries Commission – consisting of five members which was supported by university staff from the Hugo Centre for Population and Migration – also took into account current male and female player and Auskick participation and relative locational advantage.

As a result, a significant adjustment in the 2022 Boundaries Review was the realignment of the River Murray Football League from its traditional Sturt country zone to West Adelaide.

River Murray clubs Imperials, Ramblers, Mypolonga, Mannum, Jervois, Meningie (now Coorong Cats) and Tailem Bend will now be aligned to the Bloods.

”Since the 2017 Boundaries review, Sturt and South Adelaide’s regions saw the biggest growth in participation anywhere in the State,” SANFL Executive General Manager of Football Matt Duldig said.

”Sturt’s heartland Adelaide Hills country recruiting zone includes the rapidly-expanding Mount Barker and its surrounds, which is projected to be one of the fastest-growing regional cities in Australia.

”In contrast, West Adelaide’s regional area is faced with declining junior participation rates as evidenced by the recent dissolution of the Mallee Football League.”

'Since the 2017 Boundaries review, Sturt and South Adelaide's regions saw the biggest growth in participation anywhere in the State.''

SANFL Executive General Manager Football Matt Duldig

Central District also received noteworthy gains, chiefly to its metropolitan and, near country, recruiting zones.

The Bulldogs received North Pines, Virginia and Eudunda Robertstown Football Clubs from Woodville-West Torrens, together with Mawson Lakes and Brahma Lodge from North Adelaide.

In other movements, the Double Blues conceded the Houghton Football Club to Norwood while gaining the Mitcham Football Club from West while South Adelaide received the Cove Football Club from Glenelg.

Chaired by SA Football Commission Chairman Rob Kerin, the 2022 Boundaries Commission included the following members on its panel.

  •  Luke McCabe, SA Football Commissioner
  •  Neal Matotek, Director of Corporate Services Westminster School and former SANFL General Manager of Commercial
  •  Garry Palasis, solicitor and former Boundaries Commission Chairman
  •  Michelle Wilson, Adelaide University General Manager of Sport

The changes from the 2022 Boundaries Review will take effect immediately, with the next review due in 2027 ahead of the 2028 season.

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